Nylon’s Print Hits the Shredder


Anna Letson

Nylon Magazine’s October print issue will be its last due to declining profits. The magazine will be shifting its focus towards digital media production.

Kate Holland, Staff Writer

Plastered across every early aught teen’s bedroom walls were the glossy pages of models and the latest fashions featured in Nylon Magazine. New renditions of these Nylon wall collages will cease to exist now that the 18-year-old magazine has announced plans to end their print edition following their upcoming October print issue.

Jamie Elden, Nylon’s president and chief revenue officer, told Women’s Wear Daily that Nylon plans to focus on their digital media production with creative teams of social media and fashion influencers concentrating on expanding Nylon’s young female audience.

“Their online presence is really trendy,” LS Sophomore Seeta Charan said. “They post really cool music videos and fashion shows, but they’re also really on top of which celebrities are relevant to their audience.”

Nylon has been facing cutbacks in the last few years and their decision to fold their print edition no surprise to devoted readers. Nylon Holdings Inc. merged with style blogger network  FashionIndie.com in 2014. Nylon’s male-targeted counterpart, Nylon Guys, folded its print edition the following year.

CAS sophomore Juliana Galarza said she was drawn to Nylon Magazine as a kid because it was completely different from any other magazine at the time.

“I’m really sad to hear that they’re shutting down the print aspect,” Galarza said. “I can only hope that the soul of Nylon remains the same despite upcoming changes.”

Unfortunately, Nylon Magazine is far from the first publication to succumb to the rising costs of producing print and the increasing commoditization of digital media. Newsweek, a current events magazine, switched to completely digital and other publications, such as The New York Times and National Geographic are considering the transition. The slow and ugly decline of print news is the result of the commoditization of digital media.

The NYT, the most famous and revered news publication in the world, has in recent years considered becoming a non-profit that readers can donate money to support their production. If The NYT is beginning to buckle beneath the financial pressure of the decline in print readership, it seems that no one is safe.

The problem facing both The NYT and Nylon is not a decline in interest, but rather a decrease in profits. Why would someone pay to have a print subscription to a newspaper or magazine that they could view online for a fraction of the cost or even for free?

In fact, online subscriptions to The NYT doubled in 2016. The issue is that the increase in online subscriptions cannot compensate for the decrease in print subscriptions. This is due to the fact that online ads generate a fraction of the revenue that would be generated by the same ad space in print. The average person who visits an online news source spends approximately two and a half minutes on the site before leaving it, making the exposure for potential online sponsors far less valuable than that for print.

Steinhardt junior Grace Moon is an editor-in-chief for the NYU chapter of an online women’s magazine, Her Campus. She thinks digital journalism is the next era.

“Although some — including myself — may find [the decline of print] unfortunate, it’s the reality and we have to adjust in creative ways,” Moon said.

The death of print, however, does not mean that news and publishing are dying. They are simply changing to accommodate the accessibility afforded by online publishing.

While tradition holds some to mourn the decline of print, the modernization of online publishing has actually increased readership in many publications over the past decade, including The NYT and Nylon Magazine.

Email Kate Holland at [email protected]